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Top Solar Brands in the Home Solar Industry

top solar brands in the home solar industry

Short on Time? Here’s The Article Summary

The article highlights the history and evolution of solar power as an energy source, dating back almost 3,000 years. It explains that while solar power was initially used for industrial, military, and space exploration purposes, it has now become a popular choice for residential use. The article discusses the growth of the home solar industry, with over 3.2 million solar panel home installations in the U.S. by the end of 2021.

It emphasizes the importance of understanding the components of a home solar system before investing in one, including solar panels, batteries, inverters, and solar generators. The article provides insights into selecting the right components, such as considering efficiency, durability, and warranty, to ensure a reliable and efficient system. It also introduces top solar brands in the industry, offering quality products for residential solar setups.

Introduction

Contrary to popular belief, solar power as an energy source isn’t new. Actually, it dates back a long time — almost 3,000 years. Solar power was first used in the 7th century B.C. when humans employed magnifying lenses to light fires, burn ants, or whatever they did back in the day. Then, centuries later, Asian, Greek, and Roman civilizations used "burning mirrors" to light ceremonial torches. So, although it wasn't until 1954 that the first photovoltaic cell was born, humans have made the most of the sun's power for a long time. 

Solar panels were first used mainly for industrial, military, and space exploration. But now, the home solar industry has skyrocketed, making solar energy one of the top forms of renewable energy. By the end of 2021, the U.S. had over 3.2 million solar panel home installations

Now, many homeowners find themselves comparing solar generator brands as they consider transitioning from grid power to independent solar energy. But before going ahead and investing in a system that costs upwards of $25,000, it's essential to understand the industry's evolution and what to look for before buying a system for your home. 

What is the Home Solar Industry?

The general consumer market is usually the last to adopt new energy forms. For example, solar panels arrived in the 1950s but didn’t popularize until the 80s and 90s. That’s when residential solar technology became affordable. 

But even with growing popularity, solar energy systems had issues. For one, they only worked when the sun was out. And at the time, battery options were meager, and many could not sustain homes for extended periods. This is totally unlike today's impressive battery options from companies like Mammoth RE.  

It took a second before wide-scale adoption became viable. But in the past decades, these issues have diminished — by a lot. Studies show that since 2010, the price of solar energy has fallen by 89%. The coolest part is that as systems decreased in price, their efficiency and performance increased. These factors and looming concerns over failing grids and global warming have led many homeowners to consider solar energy as a practical option.

Home solar manufacturers — such as Bluetti, EG4, or EcoFlow — offer excellent systems and individual parts, allowing buyers to expand their panel array and battery capacity at the drop of a buck. This ease of scale means owners can dip their toes in the water with a hybrid setup. Then, when they see the water is fine, they can continue to gleefully distance themselves from the national grid. This step-by-step process allows homeowners to transition according to their leisure and budget. 

But there isn't one single use-case for solar energy, and homeowners and outdoors lovers continue finding varying degrees and scenarios for solar power, such as:

  • Off-grid — Complete reliance on solar power cut off from the grid 
  • Hybrid — Partial dependence on solar power still connected to the grid
  • Emergency preparedness — Backup power in the event of an emergency
  • Outdoor and recreational — Portable systems used out of the home

Everyone has their reasons for dipping their toe into residential solar power, but one universal mistake everyone commonly makes is failing to understand each element of their system before purchasing.

Knowing what each part of a solar system does helps you make smarter choices about what goes into your system. For example, how big will your array be? What kind of panels are in it? Who made them? Choosing the right elements will not only make your system more reliable and efficient, but also give you greater peace of mind, fewer hassles, and save you money in the long run.

Elements of a Home Solar System

Most people think of solar energy as a field or roof flooded with panels. But while panels are integral to residential solar setups, many other parts are required to create a system that functions fully and effectively. To help you choose the right components, here's a crash course on the anatomy of a residential solar system.

 How Sunlight is Converted Into Electricity Using a Charge Controller, Battery, and Inverter

Solar Panels

Panels are the entry point and heart of solar energy. Without them, it’d be impossible to harvest the sun's power.

The panels consist of many photovoltaic cells. Sunlight beams down through these cells, knocking electrons free and creating a flow of DC energy. From there, an inverter converts the energy from DC to AC, allowing you to power home appliances.

The size of a panel is important, but you should be looking for its efficiency: how much of the sunlight hitting it gets converted into electricity. For example, a high-end solar panel, like Rich Solar, captures up to 30% of the sun, while a cheaper option may only capture half as much. Additionally, buyers must consider the panels' reliability and durability to ensure they can withstand severe weather. 

Solar Batteries

Solar batteries store excess sunlight that's collected during peak hours, and homeowners can add batteries to expand the capacity of their residential solar system.

When choosing batteries for a system, it's critical to check the efficiency rating, which determines how much power a battery can store during the charging process. Good batteries will have an efficiency rating of over 90%, meaning you'll lose only 10% of the energy during charging periods. For example, Mammoth RE and EG4 offer batteries with up to 99% efficiency ratings, along with extended warranties.

It's also essential to ensure that batteries are highly durable and can meet your power needs in kWh. Batteries are expensive, and purchasing one that's too large is a wasted cost, but getting one that's too small leads to electricity shortages. 

Solar Inverters

Most major home appliances run on an alternate current (AC). However, when solar panels harvest energy from the sun, that energy is a direct current (DC). To solve this, home solar systems incorporate an inverter. When the energy passes from the solar panel or battery to the inverter, it changes the current to AC, allowing you to power things like refrigerators, air conditioners, or lights. 

When selecting an inverter for your home, you have two main options: 

  • String Inverter: The entire panel array wires to one central inverter
  • Micro Inverter: Each panel has its own separate inverter

There are strengths and weaknesses to each type. String inverters are often more affordable, especially for larger setups. But the downfall is that if a single panel experiences reduced efficiency, the rest do as well. Sol Ark is a great company to consider if you decide on this form.

On the other hand, panels with micro inverters operate at their own maximum efficiency, but are more expensive and require more maintenance and setup. Both EnPhase and AP Systems are leading micro inverter manufacturers that offer affordable and reliable tech. 

Solar Generators

Solar-powered generators function like any other generator: as a backup system for emergency use. But the advantages of going solar are that they are noiseless, have no harmful emissions, and run on a free resource. Brands like Jackery even build generators for campers looking for the most eco-friendly option available. But also, companies like Bluetti are coming out with massive generators, great for powering homes for days on end. 

Always estimate your energy needs before choosing a generator because you need one that creates power at the required rate. Additionally, always ensure your generator has adequate safety features to prevent shocks or damages from overcharging. 

Solar Kits 

If you've read this far, you realize how much there is to consider when choosing a home solar system. That's why many opt to buy a kit.

Solar kits include all the necessary components to install and operate the solar energy system. They are essentially well-rounded and fully serviced packages that give owners more control over their system's size, capacity, and price. If you get one from a good retailer, you'll also get comprehensive service and support for each installation process stage.

Overall, going with a kit reduces the time to implement the solar system and lowers labor costs and the likelihood of headaches. 

Top Solar Brands in the Home Solar Industry

Cartoon house with solar panels on it

When choosing your home solar system, knowing the brand you are hitching your wagon to is crucial. Of course, every brand makes grandiose claims, but very few follow up on such claims or offer the quality of support necessary to keep customers happy. Below are a few of the top solar brands that have proven themselves as industry leaders across their respective areas of expertise. 

Solar Panels

It’s important not to skimp on solar panels. You must go with a company that appraises the efficiency and quality of its products honestly. In the long run, you won’t regret investing more upfront.

Rich Solar

Rich Solar is a trusted solar panel provider of over two decades. It offers a wide range of quality solar panels and an incredible customer support team. Additionally, Rich Solar ensures that every product comes with the service owners deserve to feel comfortable about their new home solar system. 

Rich Solar offers many panel sizes for all types of setups. For example, its 100 and 200-watt flexible solar panels are great for backup or portable setups. All come with free lifetime support, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and unbeatable prices. 

Solar Batteries

Residential solar batteries cost anywhere between $200-$20,000. Because of this, ensuring you purchase batteries from a company that offers precise and reliable warranty and servicing is crucial to avoiding problems of efficiency and longevity. 

Mammoth RE 

Mammoth RE is a renowned brand for large home or industrial setups. Its Mammoth PRO model is one of the best and most powerful solar storage options. It comes with a handful of key benefits, including:

  • 10-year warranty
  • Expansion of up to 8 Mammoth RE battery packs
  • 23,500-watt hours

EG4 

For mid-size and portable batteries, EG4 offers efficient and easy-to-use products. The EG4-WP48V 100 AH is a market favorite, as it fits many setups and is highly durable. Some of its main benefits include:

  • Lasts for 7,000 deep discharge cycles
  • Offers a 10-year warranty
  • Has IOS or Android app for monitoring battery condition
  • Tested for 99% operating efficiency
  • Lead-free and environmentally friendly

Solar Inverters

Inverters make an enormous difference in determining the efficiency of how power flows from the residential solar system to your home. Below are some of the top inverter brands. 

Sol-Ark 

Sol-Ark is an industry pioneer in terms of technologically innovative designs. Its string inverters, such as the 12k and 15k, are affordable, all-purpose devices with lifetime customer support, a safe delivery guarantee, and a 10-year warranty. 

EnPhase 

Looking for a micro-inverter? A great company to check out is EnPhase. EnPhase recently launched its IQ7 and IQ8 series products, which reduce battery dependence through seamless switching, on or off-grid. In addition, they have a NEMA 6 rating, guaranteeing durability in harsh weather conditions. EnPhase also covers its inverters with a 25-year warranty. 

AP Systems 

AP Systems is another top-notch micro inverter manufacturer for residential and commercial systems. Its inverters are tested and proven to increase solar harvest and a home solar system's overall efficiency. The AP System's DS3-L is a simple and powerful device boasting an efficiency rating of 97%. 

EG4 

EG4 does more than batteries. It also produces some of the market's leading inverters. The 18k string inverter offers 12kWh of continuous output power, a ten-year warranty, and remote monitoring. 

Solar Generators

Solar generators require portability and power. Below are the companies with an established reputation for offering top-quality solar generators. 

EcoFlow 

EcoFlow products are a fantastic option as a short-term backup power system. EcoFlow now has over 2 million users, and all products come with an extensive range of battery options, allowing homeowners to scale up capacity to meet foreseen blackout periods. 

EcoFlow also offers smaller options for outdoor or remote setups. Some of EcoFlow's most popular offerings include: 

Bluetti 

Bluetti began by offering smaller, more portable units. Now, it provides some of the world's most powerful solar generators. Soon Bluetti generators will be available that handle up to 79KWh of power. 

Bluetti products also have extended warranties, a range of safety features, and service options for installation and maintenance. A couple of Bluetti's best solar generators are:

Jackery

For the adventurous types who need a generator perfect for camping getaways or RV trips, Jackery offers a great lineup of affordable and effective products. In particular, its Explorer series ranges from $500-$3,500, depending on size. For example, the Jackery Explorer 500 Nomad Kit costs only $749, weighs 9 pounds, and comes with 100W and a conversion efficiency of 23%. 

Solar Kits

Lastly, you may want to know where to get the solar kit wrapped up in a bow and sent to your doorstep. 

ShopSolar.com 

ShopSolar.com is a small but mighty solar kit distributor that seeks to help customers find their Goldilocks home solar system. We deal with many major companies in the solar industry and have all the information you need to get your hands on that perfect setup. 

Visit our website to browse the loads of parts, kits, and resources we have that will get you on the right track to bidding bye-bye to the grid and hello to the sun. 

 

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Article by

Cody Oehm

Cody is the Head of Marketing at Shop Solar, and joined the company in spring of 2022. 

He has an entrepreneurial background and has been in the ecommerce industry since 2015. With 4 businesses under his belt and a drive to make a bigger impact, he decided to team up with Shop Solar on their mission to make solar simple and affordable. You can browse best seller's here.

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